About Providence, Divine Action and the Church

In this blog, Terry J. Wright posts thoughts and shares research on the Christian doctrine of providence. This doctrine testifies to God’s provision for all things through creation’s high priest, the man Christ Jesus. However, the precise meaning and manner of this provision is a perpetually open question, and this blog is a forum for discussion of the many issues relating to providence and the place of the Church within God’s action.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Do Our Stories Have Meaning?

Our own efforts, our ecological commitments, our struggles for justice, our work for peace, our acts of love, our failures, our own moments of quiet prayer, and our sufferings all have final meaning. Human history and our own personal story matter to God. The Word of God has entered into history for our salvation. History is embraced by God in the Christ-event. In the resurrection, part of our history—the created humanity of Jesus—is already taken into God. We are assured that all of our history has eternal meaning in God. This means that our stories have final significance, as taken up into God and transformed in Christ.

Denis Edwards, How God Acts: Creation, Redemption, and Special Divine Action (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2010), p. 159

While I appreciate the sentiments expressed in this quotation, a part of me struggles wholeheartedly to agree with them. There’s just something here that leads me to read an ‘end justifies the means’ type of eschatology; that whatever happens in the here and now, no matter how good or bad, somehow attains its full meaning in the age to come. And this leads me to ask: Is it possible – really possible to talk about the age to come without adopting this kind of eschatology?

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